Monthly Update

The Monthly Update - January 2019

In the coming months, even more available homes for rent and for sale will be added to an inventory that's already at a record high. So, it’s no surprise that all the year-end data and numbers are pointing to more choices for buyers and renters, and frankly, more price adjustments, days on market and heartaches for sellers and landlords.

We’ll get into the year-end numbers in a second, but let’s talk about the first days of 2019, and what we’ve seen so far. All this talk of a “buyer’s market,” “lower prices,” and “record inventory” is bringing buyers out to look at inventory. A lot of buyers. It’s been busy, actually. Each of the Hoffman Team’s first few open houses of the year had nearly 20 buyers through and as many as three offers in the first day!

Of course, I think there’s going be further normalization of the market, but we also think there could be some bright spots to 2019 for sellers and landlords moving product off the shelf. Interest rates are at a six-month low, and many predict the Fed won’t raise rates much more in order to keep the overall economy more fluid. This will certainly help keep buyers active and in the market. Having a smorgasbord of choices will do that, too. There’s currently enough inventory to last six years of consumption at the current rate, and that will certainly bring buyers into the market and to the negotiating table.

But, the overall YOY numbers aren’t pretty. According to The New York Times,  Manhattan’s up 18 percent, Brooklyn’s up 21 percent, and Queens is up 35 percent in terms of overall inventory from this point last year. And, overall prices are down. According to Compass data, closing were down almost 15 percent in 2018, and the median price dipped below $1 million for the first time since 2015 according to Miller Samuel.

While, yes, these numbers are scary to some and attractive to others, many view them as healthy for the overall housing market in NYC. Overall, I expect 2019 to be a good balance between buyer and seller, renter and landlord, with both benefiting from a normalization of our dynamic, evolving market  


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History Lesson/Fun Fact:

January is named after the Roman god Janus, who was always shown as having two heads. He looked back to the last year and forward to the new one.


Local Events 

Carmen Opera
January 9 - Feb. 8, 2019

This New Year, the infamous opera Carmen is coming to the Metropolitan Opera House. A dramatic tale about a hot-tempered woman who seduces a corporal, the opera is heralded as a classic. For ticket and showing information, click here


Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March

January 21, 2019 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.)

Celebrate the life and work of MLK, Jr. by joining 8th graders from Manhattan Country School on the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative March from Eleanor Roosevelt Memorial to their Upper West Side school, with stops along the way. Click here for more info. 


NYC Restaurant Week

January 21 - Feb. 8, 2019

This month, the bi-annual Restaurant Week returns with deals on 2-course lunches and 3-course dinners at 380+ restaurants. Note that Saturdays are excluded, and Sundays are only included for certain participants. For restaurant and reservation information, click here.


Best of Brooklyn Food & Beer Festival 

January 26, 2019

Explore new bites and beverages at the Brooklyn Food & Beer Festival, which offers unlimited Brooklyn craft beer tastings, food for sale from 20 Brooklyn Chefs, and music from curated DJs. Hosted at Industry City, you can purchase tickets here


 

Tips, Tricks & Real Estate News

 

The Smartest Money Resolutions You Can Make in the New Year

Resolutions aren't just for healthy diets and gym memberships. Organizing your finances may be intimidating, but setting clearly defined goals will help ensure your financial success. Get a head start with this checklist!


The Most Expensive New York Neighborhoods in 2018

The list of the top 50 most expensive New York City neighborhoods in 2018 has just been released. Unsurprisingly, Manhattan neighborhoods effortlessly steal the top three spots. Find the full list of neighborhoods as well as the supporting market data in this article by Curbed.


AirBnB’s 2019 Must-Visit List: The New Hot Spots 

Looking for a new destination for your next getaway? Break the mold this season by traveling to one of the newest hotspots uncovered by AirBnB. Check out the complete list of trendy destinations here.


13 Real Estate Pros Share Advice for Industry Newbies

Whether you're considering a career in real estate or simply starting your own business, making a name for yourself takes time and practice. In this article by Forbes, 13 real estate pros, including two of our very own Compass agents, lend their advice for building a successful empire.  


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The Monthly Update - December 2018

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Why The Downturn In The Housing Market

In A Robust Economy?

When I explain to sellers the reality of what their home is worth in today’s real estate market, they repeatedly ask me, “Why is the housing market in a downturn while the economy seems to be chugging along?” There have been countless articles, blogs and newsletters written on the subject, but yet when it’s time to sell, sellers are still baffled.

To tackle the question, one needs to closely examine key factors of economy, not just a bullish stock market or historic low unemployment. A few points to consider:

Interest Rates:

After the market crash in 2008, the Federal Reserve kept interest rates low to stimulate the economy. It took a few years, but soon banks start lending again at super (artificially) low interests rates. Money was cheap. The stimulation started working on the housing market in 2010 and 2011 like crack, so much so that, by 2015, it was up double and triple digits in most corners of the U.S. However, a strong economy stokes fears about inflation, which in turn drives the Fed to raise interest rates, which it has been doing at a slow but steady clip. Last week, according to Bankrate [link here], mortgage rates rose to 5.10 percent, a seven-year high. A year ago, they sat at 4.10 percent.

Wage Growth:

As all this interest rate correction was happening, wage growth remained stagnant. Millennials, who are now at the prime age to purchase home, never really had the wages to afford the housing market’s sharp increases. Now, you’re seeing the housing market forced adjust itself to a buyers’ market when the bulk of buyers have been priced out of the market!

Higher interest rates + minimal wage growth is a sticky equation to overcome. And while wages have started to tick up ever so slightly as of late, today’s buyer pool refuses to pay the prices earned in the heady cheap-money days of 2015. As a result, you're seeing property sit on the market for twice or three times as long as before, and many sellers are forced to drop prices to attract offers. Especially if they weren’t priced appropriately to begin with.

But when a housing market shoots up past the rate of inflation and wage growth, the old adage comes to mind: If something can’t go on forever, it won’t.


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History Lesson Did You Know?

December was originally the tenth month of the year in the Roman calendar. It gets its name from the Latin word "decem" which means tenth. However, when the Romans added January and February to the calendar, it became the twelfth month. They still kept the name, though. 


Local Events 

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Radio City Christmas Spectacular

Dec. 1, 2018 - Jan. 1, 2019

For nearly a century, the Rockettes have appeared at Radio City Music Hall in hundreds of stage spectaculars, and this year they return with a new finale. Bring the entire family for a show that's sure to entertain. Buy tickets here

 
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Santacon

December 8, 2018 (10 a.m. to 8 p.m.)

Give back with the masses at this year's Santacon, a charitable bar crawl which has raised more than $400,000 over the last 5 years. Grab your Santa hat and donate here before lining up for the infamous daytime event! 

 
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Make Music Winter

December 21, 2018 

Make Music Winter features a dozen musical parades on the streets and sidewalks of NYC on the first day of winter. Come watch, or join in for free! For more information, click here

 
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New Years Eve in Times Square 

December 31, 2018

The age-old tradition of New Year’s Eve in Times Square features dazzling lights, famous musicians, balloons, fireworks, and a crystal ball that drops at midnight. To join the crowd and see it live, be sure to arrive early! Click here for more info. 



Tips & Tricks

'Tis the season! Whether you're looking back or planning ahead, one thing is certain: the year is coming to an end. Below you'll find all you need to celebrate the past year and coordinate what's to come. 

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How to Host a Holiday Party Like a Pro

From gift swaps to girls' night, hosting during the holidays seems inevitable. Feeling stressed? Clever has you covered with the best ways to prepare for hosting duties in this article

The Top 20 Places to Travel in 2019

With a new year comes new adventures. If you're looking to satisfy your wanderlust, check out this article by Architectural Digest, which details the most interesting places to travel in 2019.

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20 New Year's Eve Decorations to Celebrate 2019 in Style

As the year comes to a close, its time to usher in a new beginning surrounded by those you love. Kick off the countdown in style with these decorations, as recommended by Elle Decor. 

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7 Long Island City Restaurants to Try Before Amazon Moves In

As Amazon prepares to move into Queens, New Yorkers are understandably concerned about how the tech giant will affect the beloved borough. Change may be coming but there's still time to enjoy the best restaurants in Long Island City, as recommended in this article by Vogue.


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The Monthly Update - November 2018

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The Buyer’s Dilemma: Buy Today Or Buy Tomorrow?

We are, no doubt, in a buyers’ market. Prices have fallen significantly since the beginning of the year across all sectors. Meanwhile, buyers are certainly taking their time looking at properties and placing offers, with no measurable sense of urgency at all. Why? Buyers are still on the fence about whether this is the best time to buy or not. A lot of them are asking themselves whether it would be more affordable to wait six months when properties might be 10 percent cheaper, but interest rates are higher. Or is it better to buy now while rates are still low?  

The truth is, it’s better to buy today. Some sellers have been on the market for so long that, in many instances, they’re extremely negotiable. And, if you can take advantage of the still historically low interest rates today, as well as the negotiable deals available, you can truly have the best of both worlds: low prices and low interest rates.

And prices never stay low in Manhattan for long. Once there is the mere suggestion of a “buyers' market”, buyers move into the market quickly and snatch up what’s available. Then, before you know it, prices are climbing back up again for the next cycle. It happens quickly — just ask anybody who was trying to time the market in 2009, 2010, 2011… They waited a few more years and, all of a sudden, the cycle was over. So, if you’re interested in purchasing a property, get out there and find the one you want, make an offer and get the deal done. Today is the day to buy.  


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Winter Village at Bryant Park

November 1, 2018 - January 2, 2019

Immerse yourself in the holiday spirit at Winter Village in Bryant Park. Starting November 1, the holiday market features 150+ vendors as well as free ice skating. For more information, click here


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Holiday Train Show

November 15, 2018 - February 3, 2019
History and train enthusiasts alike will enjoy the Holiday Train Show, set up inside the New York Transit Museum Store. The installation features a 34-foot-long model train layout with trains and subways that run on eight loops of track. You can read more here


The Nutcracker

November 23 - December 30, 2018

Enjoy a holiday tradition with George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker, which returns on November 23. With old-fashioned costumes, a tree that grows before your eyes, and Tchaikovsky’s captivating music, the ballet is hosted at David H. Koch Theater. Buy tickets here.


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Rockefeller Center Tree Lighting

November 28, 2018

Join thousands of spectators in awe for the annual lighting of the Rockefeller Center Tree. Free and open to the public, the ceremony will occur on November 28th. Read more about this historic tradition here

The Monthly Update - October 2018

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Dear Reader, 

Sorry for the delay in the monthly update, I was waiting for the Q3 data to arrive. After reading and re-reading Compass Q3 report, Bloomberg's, The New York Times, StreetEasy and Miller Samuel by Johnathan Miller. Rather than giving you a long drawn out explanation of the current state of the Manhattan markets, I'll just sum it up in two easy-to-read charts by Bloomberg (below) entitled, "More Pain for Sellers and More Choices for Buyers.


COMPASS NEWS:

  • Compass has now officially opened in Austin! Press

  • We are excited to announce the latest $400M funding round and plans for international expansion! Press

  • Starting this month Compass has partnered with WAZE, Compass pins will pop up on the Waze Map, indicating listings equipped with our groundbreaking reimagined real estate sign. Press


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The Monthly Update - July 2018

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National Real Estate Market

Trends Finally Reflect Manhattan Trends

According to the WSJ, in four of the first five months of 2018, national resale home prices nationwide have been in decline. And sales of new homes only grew 6.8 percent in the second quarter. With resales making up the bulk of total sales, this equates to Q2 results that are essentially stuck in neutral.

Oh, really??!! This information seems like yesterday’s news if you’re a seller in the New York City market. The Manhattan sales market has seemingly been "stuck in neutral" for quite some time. And with many economists predicting (dare I say it?) a recession, it’s no wonder things are in neutral.

But let's take a step back. The economy is still very strong: The stock market is up and we're experiencing the lowest unemployment rate in decades. So why the hesitation? Why is the national market stuck in neutral?

In Manhattan, we have overbuilding to contend with and an overall buyer sentiment across all price points that a market correction is due. The market is about at the end of a 10-year cycle, so that is a good argument. Rentals have already corrected over the last two years, so many think sale prices are next. We spoke to a HUD representative, and she told us, "A correction is imminent."

What does this mean for you? If you're in market to buy, it's a good time to make deal. If you're selling, be realistic and be prepared to negotiate.


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  • Check out our HQ office. Read More
  • Our CEO Robert Reffkin has been named one of Glassdoor's Top CEOs. Read More
  • Compass Seattle is opened, Philadelphia & Ft. Lauderdale next month and 12 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Who’s Disrupting Brokerage? A Breakdown By The Numbers. Read More

Don't Miss Out On These Events

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Summerstage 

July 1 - 15, 2018

Celebrate summer by getting outdoors! Happening now through July 15th, enjoy fantastic music, comedy, theater, dance, lectures, and films during SummerStage in city parks. The (mostly) free concerts are popular, so be sure to arrive early! Tickets can be purchased online

 

Broadway in Bryant Park

July 12 - August 16, 2018

From July 12 through August 16, bring the whole family to the Bryant Park lawn and watch popular on- and off-Broadway shows perform their biggest hits on Thursday afternoons for free! Find the schedule here

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Summer Restaurant Week

July 23 - August 17, 2018

Love a three-course meal but hate the price? From July 23-August 17, take advantage of lunch or dinner specials at 300 of the city's top restaurants during NYC Restaurant Week. For more information, click here.



Don't Forget To Follow Us

@hoffmanteam      #TheHoffmanTeam

Monthly Update - June 2018

The Importance of a Buyer’s

Agent in a Buyer’s Market

If you are ready to house hunt, I’m sure you know it can get pretty complicated out there. And when you’re working in a buyer’s market, having an agent working for you can be the difference between winning or losing a property and getting it for the right price! When the average New York City home currently spends 87 days on the market — much longer for luxury properties — it’s time to cut deals. But you’ll need a buyer’s agent to help educate you on the correct pricing for your purchase. Not only will you need to navigate the usual offer forms, financial sheets, pre-approval letters, and (possibly) best and finals, you’ll also need guidance from your buyer’s agent on getting your purchase for the right price!

The process can be stressful and surprisingly complex, which is why you’ll need to assemble a pro team to stand at your side throughout the journey. It can literally make the difference between losing out or winding up on top!

A buyer’s agent is just that — YOUR agent dedicated to representing YOUR interests during every step of the purchasing process — and that’s very important in a buyers market. Not only do they get you into properties fast, they also let you know when those homes are on the market before anyone else (including your competition). And, in a fierce market like ours, they are key to helping you find the home of your dreams.

Despite the fact that we are in what some have deemed a “buyer’s market” — where buyers hold a competitive edge over sellers — a buyer’s agent is still crucial to your home search. Here are the top 5 reason to use a buyer’s agent in a buyer’s market:

  1. It’s free! Sellers rely on the agents (seller’s and buyer’s agents) to bring the best buyers into their property, and to do that, they pay.

  2. Your buyer’s agent will find you the right property. Property search is a full-time job. Having your agent scour listings for the neighborhood, properties, and amenities that fit your needs — and setting up tours and appointments — will be your buyer’s agent’s No. 1 priority.

    • At Compass, we believe your time should be sent enjoying the perfect home, not searching for it. With so many listings out there and a multitude of ways to communicate, it’s not easy to stay on the same page. By creating a Compass.com account, we can use Collections together to: 1. Keep track of homes you like in one place. 2. Invite anyone - your friend, spouse, parents - to help with your search. 3. Share comments about the homes so all communication is organized. 4. Receive automated updates about the homes in real time

    • Learn More HERE

  3. Making the offer. After you find the perfect home, placing the offer is the most important and strategic step. Your agent will help you research past sales in the building and in the neighborhood in order to bring a competitive and educated offer to the seller’s agent. Having an expert negotiate the deal can save you a ton of money and help you avoid the many potential pitfalls along with way.

  4. Recommending the right professionals. Getting you to the right real estate attorney or inspector is part of your agent's duty to recognize your needs and protect your rights.

  5. Help overcome setbacks. There will be hiccups along the away, and your agent will be there to work through them. With their abundant experience, they’ll know what to look for to keep your deal on track and get you to the closing table!


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  • Check out our office. Read More
  • Compass Seattle is opened, Philadelphia & Ft. Lauderdale next month and 15 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Who’s Disrupting Brokerage? A Breakdown By The Numbers. Read More

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Monthly Update - May 2018

It’s Easy, Right?

Then why do so many sellers get it wrong?

I’m talking about preparing a home for sale, of course. And here is a definitive how-to guide to getting your property ready to fetch top dollar.

Buyers are attracted to clean, renovated, furnished apartments — who knew?! And that’s it. Not that hard. Just three little things.

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Cleaning: This includes not only scrubbing from top to bottom but also a thorough decluttering. Arrange to have the windows washed, inside and out, to really let your place shine. Yes, you’ll have to make your bed and pick up your dirty clothes off the floor for the duration the home is on the market. You’ll also have to keep the place dust-free and vacuumed with no overpowering odors. Purchasing a home is said to be 80 percent emotional and 20 percent logical. As the seller, the more you draw on the emotions of your buyer by letting them envision your home as their home, the higher price they’ll pay. So, get the property cleaned. Easy to do. It’s cheap and the payday potential is huge!

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Renovating: This step can be time-consuming and wallet-draining, and often it can be challenging to recoup those dollars. The key is investing just enough money to make your home appealing without spending unnecessarily. Start with a paint job. This can be done relatively inexpensively and will give your home a surprisingly fresh new look. Pick colors with universal appeal — eggshell white is one of my favorites. Next, go through the home and pick smaller items to replace that will give the property an updated look and feel. Make sure all light fixtures are new and working properly. Kitchen cabinets and drawer handles are easy to replace and can take a kitchen from dated to contemporary in no time. An appliance update is a good idea, but don’t feel obligated to purchase top-of-the-line brands, such as Sub-Zero or Miele. There are plenty of other brands that are half the price and just as nice. In the bathroom, a new vanity or medicine cabinet, or even a new toilet seat, can give the space a fresh new look.

Furnishings: This aspect is often overlooked, but that beat-up old couch of yours might be comfy, but it’s not helping your sale at all. Buying inexpensive, modern furniture is the finishing touch to your property’s final preparation and look. There are also many furniture rental companies that will bring in contemporary, chic furniture just for the duration the home is on the market.

All of this is common sense, but might seem overwhelming. Bottomline: Take the advice of your real estate sales agent. He or she is there to help you sell at the highest and best sale price.


Wrap Up Spring Cleaning With Chic Bins & Baskets

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Spring is the season for cleaning out our closets, but organization doesn’t have to be clunky, or hidden, for that matter. Make your storage do double duty with these stylish recommendations from Vogue.


 
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  • Compass is now the #6 brokerage in the country. Read More
  • Compass has just opened in Seattle and 15 additional new offices coming soon! #CompassEverywhere
  • Compass acquires Conlan Real Estate in Chicago and adds nearly 300 agents. Read More
  • Interested in learning more about Compass or possibly joining our national agent community? Click Here #agentsofcompass

The Monthly Update - February 2018

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Don’t Let These Top 5 Seller Concerns Prevent

You From Selling Your Home

Over the last several months, we surveyed 100 of our recent transactions and asked the sellers what their top concerns were when listing their homes. While we were surprised by some entries — “The agent may not be able to show the positive energy my home possesses.” — there were others we knew would be on the list — “The commission.

We compiled the top five concerns for you here, but most importantly, we’ve included the reasons why you shouldn’t let this issues prevent you from selling your home with an experienced and qualified broker. When it’s time for your to sell one of you largest assets, and concerns arise, just know that you’re not alone in feeling anxious. We’re here to help answer your questions and quell your fears.


Top 5

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The Cost of the Commission

It’s funny that commission is the top issue mentioned by sellers, because it really is the easiest to answer. Commision will help sell your home. Any broker will attest to this fact. For example, when a new development needs to sell property faster and at the best price, the developer incentivizes the brokers by paying them a higher than usual commission. Conversely, if you offer the buyer's agent a lower commission, the agent has less incentive push their buyer to purchase your home. Commision, like price, can be an accelerator for your sale in terms of both price and timing. Including the brokerage community in your sale by offering a commission invites competition, and that’s exactly what want when you sell your home. So, don’t skimp on 0.5 percent or 1 percent on commission — that little 1 percent can bring you more and better qualified buyers who will more than make up that 1 percent.


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Fear of Getting “Their” Price

I’ve never met an owner who isn’t concerned about price and getting “their” predetermined price. And I’ve also never met an owner who doesn’t think theirs is the best apartment in the building, on the block or in the city! But, being realistic about price (especially in today's market) and paying close attention to the comparable homes in the area, like commission, can be one of the most powerful marketing tools a seller can use. If positioned correctly in the marketplace, sellers can get “their” price — and then some! There are brokers who make living pricing property just a hair under market value to create a huge rush on the property and drive bidding wars. Price should be viewed as a tool to get more buyers working with more urgency to get you, the seller, more money, faster.  


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Uncertainty About When to List

Timing is everything, right? So, it’s no surprise that sellers are frequently concerned about when their home should hit the market. There are seasonal influences, holidays to consider, and even factors affecting what day of the week to release. So, let’s break it down. As far as seasons, spring is the busiest time of the calendar year, but it can also be the most saturated as far as listing inventory, so sometime in mid- to late March, right before the spring market, can be the best time of year to list. As for the holidays, you should never list right before a major holiday, and maybe even wait few days after that long weekend to ensure that everyone's back from vacation. If you’re looking at the best day of the week to list, we like Monday or Tuesday as this gives the listing a week to track and get picked up by public sites and the MLS. I try to avoid listing at the end of the week because the first open house that following Sunday might not be as busy you’d hoped.


Low Appraisal Value

If commission, price and release date are all inline, chances are you could get very, very strong price for your property.  And if so, appraisals can be of some concern. But, if you did get a strong price, there’s a good chance you might have had multiple buyers to choice from. If so, make the offer non-contingent on financing a requirement to accepting the buyer’s offer. Keep in mind this might scare a strong buyer off, so getting the buyer to agree on an appraisal contingency can do the trick. Meaning that if the property appraises for less than 80/20 loan-to-value, the buyer would need to kick in the difference.


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Uneasiness About Open Houses and Security

Security and the idea of “strangers” trampling through your home is always on the mind of every seller, so you're not alone if that’s a worry of yours. We always tell our sellers to be practical. If you’re especially concerned about particular items of great monetary or sentimental value, you’ll alleviate your own stress by simply removing those items from the home. Keep in mind that every showing and open house is completely, 100 percent supervised. We keep a detailed log of everyone who attends the open house and are in touch with each buyer after the open house to follow up. But being proactive is the easiest approach. Simply remove the items you feel are vulnerable, and hire an agent who’s sympathetic to the fact that this is not simply a commodity — it’s your home!


We hope this addresses any fears you might have about selling your home. If you have any question or comments please visit us on Facebook, Instagram or at dylanhoffman.com

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The Monthly Update - January 2018

2017, Whew! Hello 2018!

From stock market highs to North Korea blues, the ups and downs of 2017 were unprecedented, unexpected and really just unbelievable. And, based on just the first few days of 2018, it looks like we’re in for more of the same this year. Maybe this time around, we will all be more prepared for it — or not! Whatever 2018 has in store, we are more accustomed to the unexpected and hopefully more able to weather what's quickly becoming the norm.

But even in this new age of expecting the unexpected, there are a few things that held steady. One of which was our team’s strong and steady sales! In only 22 months at Compass, the Hoffman Team has done over 230 transactions and closed more than $200 million in total sales to date. We’re so excited and so happy to provide impeccable service to all of our current and prospective clients, always with the highest level integrity trust and professionalism. We have to tip our hats to Robert Reffkin and Compass for giving us the incredible platform that enables us to deliver unparalleled customer relations to each one of our important clients. Thank you!

Now, what to expect in the age of the unexpected!

There a lot of Nostradamus types who are saying 2018 will be a robust year for the global economy, Goldman being one of them. I think, for our purposes in the New York City real estate markets, it's best  to be a bit more grounded and assume conservatively based on the 2017’s results. If buyers and sellers can stick to what has gotten them to this point, then 2018 should and will be a productive year for all who choose to be or need to be in the market. Last year saw buyers taking more time to find what they’re looking for and being a bit more cautious. 2017 also showed that when sellers were realistic about their selling price, property moved.

These two factors contributed to a resale market that saw a 17 percent jump in transactions year-over-year at the lower end below $1 million. The stubborn condo and new development market saw not only price drops, but also 74 percent of all the inventory has been listed for 180+ days, which is a 31 percent year-over-year increase  

How the markets react to the new tax code in the long term remains to be seen, but if buyers and sellers stay grounded, and do what they did in 2017, the real estate market will continue to turn and be productive.


COMPASS News

  • Our goal is for Compass to be everywhere, and by the end of 2018, we will be operating in every major metro area in the United States, bringing us to 100 offices nationwide! #CompassEverywhere
  • Softbank invests $450 million in real estate tech company Compass at a $2.2 billion valuation. Read full article
  • Copass co-founders Robert Reffkin and Ori Allon are named as 1 of the 7 most interesting people in real estate 2017. Read full article
  • Watch out Dallas! Compass is coming for you.
  • The Hoffman Team has grown! Please join us in welcoming Scott Sobol to the team.



The Monthly Update - November 2017

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How we can help you outside of NYC: A Note About Referrals

I would like to take time this month to switch up our typical Monthly Update. Instead, let's talk about the power of our referral partnerships.

Need advice on a tricky transaction or know someone moving to Boise, Idaho? Call us! We’ve referred quality agents from downtown San Francisco to Madrid, Spain, and everywhere in between.  All over the globe, we’ve built relationships with brokerage companies and agents who assist our clients, whether they are buying, selling, renting or investing. And, we have a 100 percent success rate in our referrals.

Buyers have found their dream homes and vacation properties all over the world, and sellers have found the best of the best in their specific locale using our professional referral system.  Need a summer rental in the Hamptons, or perhaps Bali? Call us. We will help. And with Compass’ goal of 20 new cities by 2020, our national reach will be even greater and stronger over the coming years.

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To our out-of towners:  No price point is too small (or too big) for us to help you or your friends. You might think we are big, scary Manhattan brokers who won’t want to help but we do and we can! Our successes are found in the smallest towns and the biggest cities, so use us for all your real estate needs, whether close to home or far, far away.


- A Quick Ditty about the Market -

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More and more, we are in a real estate market in transition. I’ve seen other brokers' updates declaring that our city’s market is officially a buyers' market now, and it’s tough to argue against it. There are always exceptions or glimmers of hope to every market. A bidding war here or a property there going into contract in 10 days, but overall, it’s a tougher landscape than in recent years.

Price used to be the ultimate marketing tool and barometer for whether you were going to sell quickly or not. But today, even if you follow all the clues from past sales and comps, and release the property exactly where all the numbers suggest you should, the market (and buyers) might still resist making an offer or even calling to see to the property. It’s been extremely frustrating for sellers, and even some buyers seem surprised at the uncertain energy that is permeating the market right now.

My advice? Stay the course. Pay attention to the numbers and be patient. There are still a lot of positive outcomes for properties marketed, priced and positioned properly.


The Monthly Update - October 2017

The Value of Today’s Buyer's Agent

We all know that the internet has changed everything about real estate, as it has for countless other service-based industries, from financial services to travel, and even medicine. But for real estate, everything has been turned inside out. In fact, Compass has based their entire one-billion-dollar valuation on the worth of technology in today's real estate marketplace.

This month, I’d like to focus on the buyer's agent and specifically buyer's agents in the Manhattan and greater New York City area. Ours is unlike any market the country, or the world, for that matter. For starters, in New York City there is no multiple listing service (MLS), like one would find in nearly every other real estate market in the U.S. When I speak to real estate agents from other regions, they are blown away by how much harder it is for us to conduct business here, and that's where the value of the buyer's agent first becomes apparent. The mere fact that there is no MLS in Manhattan means that property listings are everywhere and anywhere. There have always been at least five private systems —either shared by a few agencies or controlled by one — but never a truly collaborative MLS where all listings are collected and shared broker to broker. StreetEasy was our MLS answer for some time, but in July of this year, the website started charging agents to list properties, and the number of StreetEasy rental and sales listings dropped by almost half.

A good and resourceful buyer's agent can make sure that buyers cast as wide a net as possible, searching every private website as well as every public source. Plus, they have ongoing day-to-day knowledge of listings from a variety industry-only sources. These can include broker-to-broker email advertisements, weekly sales meetings where coming-to-market listings are discussed, as well as subscription services that announce off-market, for-sale-by-owner (FSBO) items that are almost never found by the buying public at large.

Having an active agent focused on finding properties for buyers through all of these different resources is a huge benefit. Also, relationships matter. It’s a big city, but a very close-knit community of agents who handle about 80 percent of the transactions in New York City. Tapping into agents who know each other well and work with each other all the time can make all the difference in getting that offer accepted.

After the deal is fully executed is when the benefit of the buyer's agent can really blossom. From co-op and condo board applications, to managing agent relationships, to attorney contacts, brokering the deal happens during the entire lifecycle of the transaction and really has its legs right in the middle. There is nothing more important in a co-op transaction, for example, than the board package. It’s the only time during the deal where the outcome is not in the seller's or buyer's hands, but controlled by a third party who has the power to kill the deal. It’s the responsibility of the buyer's broker to work with their client and create the perfect package that is concise, easy to understand and free of mistakes, yet in-depth and complete.

Bringing in a skilled buyer's agent who has great relationships and a deep knowledge of our complex transactions, inventory and industry can be a huge benefit to getting a deal closed quickly and effectively.

The Monthly Update - August 2017

StreetEasy Turns Against the Industry That Built It

Making brokers more relevant than ever...

Let's roll back the clock 10 years. In those days, there was a huge gap in the New York City real estate market. With no Multiple Listing Service to speak of, buyers didn’t know where to turn for legitimate property listings for purchase or lease. There was an opportunity to build a website with legitimate sales and rental listings matching agents and customers. And so, StreetEasy.com was born. Quickly becoming the No. 1 public source for real estate, it amassed a huge online database of property for the public to consume, built largely on the work of the agents who posted the listings.

Eight years into StreetEasy's successful run, along comes the national real estate platform Zillow, who bought StreetEasy.com for, reportedly, a mere $55 million. Since StreetEasy held the keys to the world's largest real estate market, the price was considered a steal. Soon after the acquisition, Zillow began implementing money-making tools, primarily by exploiting agents and misleading buyers, detracting from StreetEasy’s original goal of providing a legitimate and agnostic source of New York City real estate data.

One of their most recent changes — the deceptively titled "Premier Agent" feature — even prevents listing brokers from being presented alongside on their own exclusives, unless they pay for the privilege. Instead, buyers are misdirected to an agent who likely bought a percentage of the ZIP code in which the property is listed. This, in turn, leads the buyer to a broker who has no knowledge of the actual property the buyer is interested in. It's a classic, and despicable, bait and switch, and the industry was unsurprisingly up in arms about its implementation. Buyers complained. Sellers complained. Angry commentary filled StreetEasy’s message boards. But it made no difference.

Zillow, a national behemoth, had already swallowed up Trulia, Naked Apartments and others, and had their sights set on one goal: making money. Regardless of whether their tactics are good for consumers, sellers or the agent community.

Zillow's latest change is causing another uproar in one of the world's largest rental markets, and it may be the straw that broke the camel's back: They've begun charging agents $90 a month for all rental listings. This move has banned the city's biggest real estate houses together to create a new Real Estate Listing Service (RLS) through the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) database. This database will provide all member brokerage houses with up-to-date, legitimate listing information — at no additional charge — so that they can continue to service the public's need for relevant and accurate listing information.

It's really only a matter of time before StreetEasy begins charging agents to list anything on their site. So, as of August 1, every major firm — except for Douglas Elliman — will feed the RLS, which Zillow refuses to feed to StreetEasy. After that, we will have to wait and see how this fight moves forward. Will StreetEasy continue to buck the system for their own profit as brokers log off in droves in favor of New York's first RLS feed? Or will they realize that by turning against the industry that built it, they've created their own demise. Only time will tell, but there’s really only one sufferer in this whole debacle and that's the customers, both buyers and sellers.  

To always get the most accurate information using a broker is more important than ever.  


 

  • The Hoffman Team has grown! We are pleased to announce the addition of Christian Nacpil to the team!

  • The Hoffman Team was recently ranked the #8 team in Manhattan by The Real Deal Magazine, based on volume.

  • Compass has taken over all of 90 Fifth Avenue, and this week we debuted our flag.

  • Our new mission statement is simple and pure. 

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The Monthly Update - July 2017

Not to Sound Redundant, But … It’s All About The Price!

And ain't that the truth! But, while pricing is the biggest motivating factor in today’s market, other factors as well are at play when it comes to today's buyer.

The strongest, fastest and highest selling apartments in the current market are the ones demonstrating the utmost quality with tangible renovations and top-notch finishes. Another major factor for success are buildings that are situated within the most desirable neighborhoods or destination locations.

So, you ask, what the secret sauce is for today's marketplace? It HAS to be price first. We are in a climate where the buyers' market rejects the seller's asking price more often than not, BUT when the market does spot an enticing asking price, buyers act almost irrationally to win the bidding! In fact, and I've seen this time and time again, these well-priced scenarios will often result in bidding wars that ultimately drive the final price well over what the buyers' market would've rejected resolutely as an initial asking price! This is a near-illogical overreaction by the buyers' market — a feeding frenzy, if you will.

So, if you combine the right price with a nicely renovated apartment in a desirable building and sought-after location, you have the recipe for a fast and high-priced sale. The hottest segment of the market seeing this kind of reaction is the $1M and below sector. It’s so competitive in this category, that if you didn’t know better, you would think it was 2006 all over again. As you move up the price-point ladder, the market gets tougher and tougher for sellers, and better and better for buyers.

But, and I can't stress this enough, no matter which end of the ladder you're selling in — it’s all about the price.

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The Monthly Update - June 2017

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The Jane Street Effect

FAILED TO SELL — the words every owner dreads and hates to hear. Yet, in today’s price-sensitive market, these words are uttered over and over again.

A little over a month ago, we took over a Jane Street condo in the West Village from the largest brokerage house in the city who failed to sell. It had languished on the market for almost six months, so giving the property a complete rebranding and facelift was our first priority. The owner agreed to pay us to completely restage the property and to give it a deep cleaning. We brought in our best photographer, floor plan renderer and copywriter, and we made the property a “new listing” with over 100 days “on market” according to StreetEasy, NYC’s No. 1 public real estate website.  We got Compass’ public relations team to get a some press on the unit, and we went ahead with the relaunch. But, there was the issue of price. The property had been listed for $3.395 million. Clearly, we had to bring it to market with an improved price, so we all agreed that  $3.25 million  was a fair market value with a little room for negotiation. Just a bit lower than our predecessor’s asking price, but low enough to spark renewed interest — and that it did.

Over the next three weeks, we brought in over 50 buyers to the property, but alas no offers. It would seem the market had rejected the new asking price, again! But this time, the owner’s agents took action. Instead of letting the property sit there, the market forced us to adjust. The owner was convinced just a small adjustment would do for now, and if that didn’t work we’d move the price again in three more weeks. There was just no way that was healthy for the life of the listing if we wanted to sell it for top-of-the-market value. With much debate we adjusted the price down to $2.995 million and immediately got three offers: one below the asking and two just above.

We commenced with a best and final and signed a contract a week later for $3.15 million all cash. Why didn’t one of the original 50 interested buyers offer $2.95 million when we were at $3.25 million? We could have easily settled on a price of roughly $3.15 million then. This is today’s market — ultra price-sensitive — and this is what is leading to massive days on market for some listings or the dreaded failed to sell label for others.


Find your property’s sweet spot, and the market will respond genuinely. It doesn’t care how long you’ve been on the market or for what price. Once you find the right number, your property will  have the Jane Street Effect!



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The Monthly Update - May 2017

Which markets are better for real estate sales? Historically, spring markets have always the been the stronger market. That being said, over the past three years, I have personally noticed a larger lag between the markets than we are normally accustomed to. In 2014, the spring was strong, and fall, while a bit slower, maneuvered itself and built up to record-smashing Spring 2015.

That hot Spring of 2015 fell flat by August and never recovered after Labor Day. Fall 2015 failed to live up to brokers’ predictions and the lofty sellers’ prices that had spiked earlier that year. And while that downtrend creeped only to the end of 2015 (especially in the luxury markets) and moved its way into 2016, which was a low point for many price-points, late Spring 2016 showed us the most promise of that year.

Fall 2016 was very difficult for many price-points, and now in 2017 after contentious election, a record-setting Wall Street surge and interests rates that are defying normal logic and staying incredibly low, we are seeing many price-points come roaring back. Bidding wars are now common again. Buyers’ interests in the market is white hot. The only segment  left out in our 2017 strong spring market  is the luxury sector. Having a few good weeks early in 2017, it is still highly competitive for sellers with lots of luxury market new development and resale to compete with. And there is more yet is still to arrive.

Price is king in the sector. That said, sellers seem to be holding out and for as much as they can. The average days on market for three-bedroom condos on the Upper West Side, according to StreetEasy.com, is 293 days. But overall, the Hoffman team is seeing record numbers and a strong bounce back so far in Spring 2017. What remains for the rest of this year is completely unpredictable. History would say it could be slow …  and yet, IF the Trump tax plan passes, or is even perceived to have a good chance of passing, that could rev up the markets again for another huge push this fall. That lag might be over.


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Press Bulletin 

 

Compass Acquires Montauk's Oldest Boutique Real Estate Firm
Bloomberg TV  | Read Full Article


The Monthly Update - April 2017

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So, where is the market headed?

This is the question on the mind of every buyer and seller in the market today. On the one hand, there are plenty of encouraging signs from all over the media and blogosphere. The broker-coveted Oshlan Luxury Market Report, for example, noted last week that 330 contracts at the $4 million-plus price point were signed in the first quarter, a 33 percent increase over the same period in 2016. But (and there always seems to be a "but" in this market), the average days on market is over 390 days with a 7 percent drop from the original asking price. Sellers were probably willing to negotiate even further given the average days the properties spent on the market in this price point.

Where the high end market goes the rest will follow, right? Not necessarily. We are finding our higher end listings, while popular with appointments, are a bit slower to receive offers given the amount of inventory, again, that's borne out by Oshlan reported average days on market. This is in stark contrast to our "affordable" inventory, which can see as many as 18-20 buyers at each open house and offers within the first or second week. Even though we saw the Fed vote to raise interest rates last month, there was actually a slight dip in rates at the consumer level, which is a likely a contributing factor for the strong response for the more affordably priced homes in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Well, that and the fact that inventory in that sector is limited and not likely to grow any time soon.

Whether high-end or affordable, there is no real answer to the question, "So, where is the market headed?" But — and I’ve harped on this a thousand times before — the current market is so price sensitive that the placement of your asking price relative to other listings in the area can be the difference of selling in 3 days or 300 days.


Looking Back At What Closed...

The 2,649 total closings in the first quarter was down 11% year-over-year. This decrease was related to weak contract activity in 4Q16 (down 12% Y-o-Y), which was attributable to high asking prices and the uncertainty regarding the U.S. presidential election. New development closings continued to decline this quarter (down 20% Y-o-Y), though it should be noted that they are not indicative of the current market due to their delayed and often clustered closing schedules. The median closing price of condos decreased 6% year-over-year to $1.7M but the median closing price of co-ops increased slightly by 1% to $778K.

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Press Bulletin

Compass Launches The Pinterest Of Real Estate
Forbes |  Read Full Article

Modernizing R.E. Through Tech
Bloomberg TV | Video  (starts at 38.56)


Introducing Collections — real estate’s only visual workspace. Built by Compass, this new tool streamlines your property hunt. Check it out HERE or contact us today for a collection of hand-selected properties!


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The Monthly Update - March 2017

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As the U.S stock market continues its steady climb to as-yet unexplored heights, real estate brokers are finally starting to see the fruits of the upward trajectory in our day-to-day activity of buying and selling New York City property.

Leading with the luxury market, the Oshlan Luxury Market Report, which focuses on properties at the $4 million mark and above, noted that February 2017 was the second strongest February on record for contract signings. The bulk of those luxury market contracts were in a sweet spot between $4 million and $6 million, specifically.

The Hoffman Team at Compass, indeed felt the same surge in business with 10 contracts signed in February. We are also seeing an increased number of online website views of our listings — a good indicator of future business — and at the water cooler, other agents are talking about a general buzz industrywide.

Is it the Trump effect? Is spring finally in the air? Is it because the Fed all but guaranteed that interest rates will be given a hard look during their March meeting? I'd say all of the above are, at last, bringing buyers to the point of purchase, so let's all ride this general wave of optimism while it lasts, shall we?

But alas, there are future hurdles ahead for markets around the word. Take a look at France's elections in late April, for example. Another Nationalist is leading in the polls, and if Marine Le Pen wins, there could be another blow to the EU as she would like to go the way of Great Britain and exit (Frexit?). And, our own Fed has given us mixed singles as to what exactly they intend to do with rates over the long haul.

These type of pluses and minuses point to a general rule that one cannot look too far into the future. It's best to just capitalize on what is happening right now, which is cautiously positive if you are in the real estate market.



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Introducing Collections — real estate’s only visual workspace. Built by Compass, this new tool streamlines your property hunt. Check it out HERE or contact us today for a collection of hand-selected properties!


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Real Estate Is Latest Target for Would-Be Disrupters


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The Monthly Update - February 2017

With one month under our belts, we're seeing a brisk start to the new year, and all indicators are looking positive for a robust 2017 in the New York City real estate market.

Our new administration's plans to deregulate and cut taxes have Wall Street — and pretty much all other key economic indicators — predicting continued growth for business, and the Dow finally topped the much anticipated 20,000 mark in the last full week of January.

Gordon Gollob, managing director at Compass’s world headquarters in New York, said he’s seeing (dare we say it) "bidding wars" back on the table for apartments priced in the $2 million to $3 million range. Further solidifying the positive press we’ve been seeing recently, in the first week of January, the weekly luxury market report from Olshan Realty tracked 50 contracts signed at$4 million or higher, matching the record set back in 2014. But, as our market still pulls itself out of the doldrums of 2016, some wavering is to be expected, and the third week of January saw the lowest number contracts signed at $4 million or higher — only three more than the slowest third week of January on record. As the saying goes: Two steps forward, one step back.

While things do seem to be outpacing 2016, many in the industry still feel the current market climate is a shifting one and that only well-priced properties, marketed strongly and effectively, will reap the benefits being forecasted by the elite market indicators of the world.



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The Numbers
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In Manhattan January saw 1,262 new properties come to the market, which is an increase over December's 447 new listings. 


Monthly Update - January 2017

Happy New Year!

The election dust has settled, the holidays have passed and a new year has begun. We bid adieu to our current president, and shortly, will inaugurate a new one. But before we plunge headlong into the rest of 2017 — sure to be an interesting year — let's pause and take a look back at the end of 2016.

Compass recently released its Q4 2016 Manhattan Market Report, and the results show a marketplace in flux and influenced by real-world events, namely the election and the Fed's long-expected decision to raise interest rates. Some key findings from the report include:

  • Overall, closings were down year-over-year, but much of that slowdown might be attributable to a collective holding of breath before the election. Compass data finds that there were 24 percent more contracts signed in the four weeks after the election (837) than in the four weeks before the election (677).
  • Inventory, especially in the condo market, continues to be out of pace with current consumer demand with units priced above $3 million comprising 29 percent of total inventory, but only 15 percent of signed contracts.
  • Asking and closing prices continued to trend up at a significant pace, meaning that while total annual closing numbers were down from 2015, total sales volume was down a mere 3 percent for 2016 ($24.4 billion) compared to 2015 ($25.2 billion).

While post-election activity ended the year on the upswing, the potential impact of the new administration leaves us with more questions than answers, making it more important than ever to make smart, informed real estate choices in the coming months.


For more information, download the full report and for instant access to real-time market data any time of year, download the Compass Markets for iOS app.



Stay Tuned, Coming January 17th....


    Hot Off The Press:

Compass Expands In Miami; Acquires Local Firm
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Billion-Dollar Trio: Here's a look at NYC's unicorns of 2016
New York Business Journal |  Read Full Article


"Compass is building the first modern real estate platform, pairing the industry's top talent with technology to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless. "


As part of our promise to offer a more intelligent and seamless real estate experience, we’ve launched Market Insights HERE. You can gain timely insights about your local market by scrolling down the page and entering your ZIP code.
 

With Market Insights, here’s what we’re offering:

  • Gain the following high-level insights based on your ZIP code
    • Percent change in home sales for the previous two quarters
    • Trends in home sales over the past eight quarters
    • Pricing patterns for properties per square foot
  • Feel free to share the report by email address or even post it to your social networks

The Monthly Update - December 2016

 

With President-Elect Trump set to take office in less than 50 days, he and his transition team are well underway in selecting the cabinet and key staff positions. In the meantime, stock markets around the world are betting big that large, publicly traded companies will benefit hugely from a Trump administration. As a result, investors are dumping bonds for stocks, which in turn is driving up interest rates.
What are we real estate professionals going to see at ground level, in the day-to-day business of selling or buying your most prized assets?

Historically, the New York City real estate market follows the trends of Wall Street. When the Streeters feel bullish, they tend to not only buy stocks, but real estate as well. At a first glance, we should assume that this will benefit our local housing market. In fact, the housing market saw strong growth nationally in both September and October.

Here in the city, the day after the election, I saw a brief pause and then a full-steam-ahead, petal-to-the-metal rush forward. Buyers are moving ahead at a strong clip to beat interest rate increases and get their rates locked in as soon as possible. There has also been an international influx over the last few weeks from Asia and even from some Russian investors. From first-time buyers to new investors to seasoned professionals, I'm seeing tremendous activity in requests, offers and pushes to get deals closed before the end of the year. In some cases, I am seeing more negotiability, seller concessions and creative offers being made but deals are proceeding nonetheless.

It seems the short-term Trump effect has been a strong jolt in the arm for the real estate market, with more than a little watchfulness. The long-term effect, meanwhile, is anyone's guess. Any predictions on what the local, national and international economies will do after Trump takes office is mere speculation at this point. Is it a wait-and-see or a bullish push to jump in?

Wall Street’s betting big. Will you?


November's Inventory Numbers

The Numbers:

On average November saw a decrease of 23% over October's inventory. The three-bedroom and more category saw the largest decrease of just over 30%. 


"Compass is building the first modern real estate platform, pairing the industry's top talent with technology to make the search and sell experience intelligent and seamless. "

As part of our promise to offer a more intelligent and seamless real estate experience, we’ve launched Market Insights HERE. You can gain timely insights about your local market by scrolling down the page and entering your ZIP code.

With Market Insights, here’s what we’re offering:

  • Gain the following high-level insights based on your ZIP code:
  • Percent change in home sales for the previous two quarters
  • Trends in home sales over the past eight quarters
  • Pricing patterns for properties per square foot
  • Feel free to share the report by email address or even post it to your social networks


Hot Off The Press!

Penthouse in peril? Despite high-profile price cuts, NYC luxury digs still attractive
NY Business Journal |  Read Full Article

Hoffman Team Press:
A Fine Vintage
The Compass Quarterly |  Read Full Article

 

Do You Think You Know What Your Home Is Worth?
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